/blog/The Neighbourly blog | NeighbourlyRead the Neighbourly blog for our latest news, resources and information about our fundraising, volunteering and surplus programmes.

Aldi unveil Christmas 2022 advert with Kevin the carrot

10 November 2022

Aldi’s Christmas 2022 TV advert is here, featuring their partnership with Neighbourly alongside last winter’s festive phenomenon Kevin the Carrot and a cameo from Marcus Radishford. Echoing the same powerful sentiment “make Christmas amazing for everyone”, the ad sees Kevin the carrot embark on a new, yet familiar, Christmas adventure.

Neighbourly is delighted to feature in the advert, which highlights the work we’ve done with Aldi since 2019 distributing community grants as well as surplus food from all of their UK stores to local small charities and community groups. So far, Aldi has donated over 25 million meals to those in need, including schools, soup kitchens and breakfast clubs.

Additionally, this year Aldi is encouraging their customers and followers to support the Neighbourly Foundation*, to help local communities in need over the winter. 

If you, like family member Jasper Carrot, would like to donate some of your pocket money you can click the link below to help local families.

*charity 1189514

Gifts that Give - M&S and Neighbourly’s Christmas Partnership Launch

4 November 2022

This Christmas M&S has teamed up with Neighbourly to deliver a Christmas campaign with a purpose. As winter can be a difficult time for the most vulnerable in our local communities - with small charities and causes often seeing a big spike in demand and the Cost of Living Crisis adding further strain, M&S wanted to help by launching their Gifts that Give initiative. 

M&S has given £1 million across 1,000 small charities and community groups in the UK and Ireland through the Neighbourly Foundation (charity 1189514). The donations will contribute towards supporting each organisation through what is set to be a difficult winter period. 

To mark the festive campaign, M&S has brought together a number of these hardworking groups to feature in their Christmas TV advert, which you can watch on our website

You’ll also be able to meet and find out more about three of the good causes in the advert: the Kaotic Angels, Caenhill Countryside Centre and the Y Centre Skaters. These charities invited Neighbourly to visit their hometowns to film them doing what they do best, helping their local communities. 

How the grants will be used this Christmas

From food banks and homeless support to disability charities and schools spanning the UK, the 1,000 recipients are using their grant money for a variety of reasons. Amongst the beneficiaries are Scout and Rainbow groups who will be using the money to heat their venues through the winter months and a refugee charity called 3D Drumchapel in Scotland who is using the money to “run sessions to help with the cost of living and an after school club to bring families into the warmth, allow children to do their homework and also to provide families with a hot cooked meal”. 

Whiterock Children’s Centre Christmas Appeal in Northern Ireland will be using their grant money to help people in their local community struggling with the cost of living by “giving some support with the non essentials like toys or clothes for Christmas”. Also being supported is England community transport charity, Please Take Me, whose aim is to give those suffering with cancer in their community “free, regular, net-zero, non-emergency transport to and from their hospital appointments.”

You can find out more about the inspiring causes receiving the grant here. You can also find a list of all of the charities and good causes featured in the advert at the end of the blog.

About the M&S and Neighbourly Partnership

In 2015, M&S became a founding Neighbourly partner as they were leading the way in delivering their pioneering Plan A Sustainability strategy. M&S's first campaign engaged thousands of staff in fundraising £900k for local causes in its first year, a success that led them to working with Neighbourly to develop a number of innovative and evolving programmes over many years.

M&S went on to launch mass employee volunteering, a network-wide back-of-store food and product surplus redistribution, and further rounds of targeted fundraising and grants programmes with wide-reaching social and environmental impact - supporting over 6,000 local good causes which help an estimated 2.3 million people every week.

“M&S's Christmas campaign is a brilliant celebration of kindness and a timely reminder of the importance of community at a time when support at a local level is needed more than ever. 

“Findings from our recent community survey found that 83% of local groups are already experiencing a rise in demand on their services yet 69% reported they’ve found it harder to find funds in the last three months. We’re delighted to have partnered with M&S on the distribution of this £1million fund which will make a huge difference to groups in our network over the winter period. This campaign builds on a long-standing community strategy that has seen M&S support over 6,000 good causes in the Neighbourly network and donate nearly 50 million meals worth of surplus food."

Steve Butterworth, Neighbourly CEO

Charities features in the TV ad: The Kaotic Angels Club, The Y Centre Skaters, UK Soul Choir, Mintridge Basketball Club, Kearsly Brass Band, Caenhill Countryside Centre, Paddington Arts Dance Group, Valley Invicta Primary School at East Borough Majorettes, Bengali Dancers.

10 #FixThisCrisis campaigns you can get involved in

7 September 2022

The UK is currently facing a national emergency in the form of the cost of living crisis. Even before the crisis, millions of people across the country were facing a winter choosing between heating or eating, and many are now realising that they may not be able to afford either.

Along with more than 50 organisations, we are supporting Turn2Us and Save the Children in the #FixThisCrisis campaign which is calling on the government to act with urgency to ensure the wellbeing of the population. 

Below we have compiled some of the campaigns and petitions being run by charities in response to the crisis so that you can show your support.

38 Degrees - We need an emergency budget that boosts Universal Credit now

This petition is urging the Government to announce an emergency budget that increases Universal Credit immediately.

With the cost of living crisis already hitting families hard and energy bills set to soar even more, this is more important now than ever.

“The Government raised Universal Credit during the pandemic - providing a lifeline to millions - and with enough pressure, they could do it again.”

Turn2Us - Write to your MP

Join Turn2Us in their campaign to ask for urgent action to help people during this cost of living crisis.

Writing to your MP lets them know how people in their area are being affected and can encourage them to take action.

“The more MPs that receive emails in their inbox, the better. Even if you think your MP will not be receptive, it is still important to write to them - the more public pressure MPs receive, the better chance we have of making a change.”

Action for Children - We need urgent and decisive action on the cost of living crisis

In this open letter to Liz Truss, Action for Children are asking the new Prime Minister to take the urgent steps required to give families the support they need and strengthen the safety net. 

Their three requests are that the government:

  1. Restore benefits to a decent level. If the cost of living goes up, benefits should reflect this.
  2. Increase the child element of Universal Credit to help lift children out of poverty.
  3. Deliver a serious and cross-government strategy to tackle child poverty and make it a key part of the government’s plans for levelling up.

  • Add your signature to the letter here

Save the Children - Call on the Government to do more to ease the cost of living crisis

Save the Children are calling on the government to invest in a level of social security that is sustainable and sufficient for people to live on.

“When parents can’t afford the basics, children pay the price.”

  • Sign the petition here

Independent Age - Tell the next Prime Minister to take action on the cost of living

Writing to the Prime Minister, Independent Age are asking that urgent action is taken to support older people in financial hardship to address the spiralling cost of living. 

They are currently just 1,274 signatures away from their target of 5,000 - add your name below!

  • Sign the petition here

The Trussell Trust - Everyone should be able to afford the essentials

While food banks are there to help people when they need it most, this cannot, and should not, be the country’s long-term solution to hunger. 

Everyone should be able to afford life’s essentials, so we need a stronger social security system that provides security every day, not just in times of national crisis. 

  • Send a message to your MP here

Action Storm - Vulnerable young people are going hungry to pay the bills. End food poverty now!

Vulnerable young people faced with food poverty are experiencing huge difficulties with inflation historically high, energy costs soaring, rent and food prices going up, and an inevitable recession. This is putting noticeable pressure on their mental health.

Action Storm are calling on the government to:

  1. Uprate benefits to reflect the real cost of living.
  2. Remove the five-week wait for the first Universal Credit payment.
  3. Offer the choice of more regular payments i.e. every 2 weeks

  • Sign the petition here

Provide an energy grant to people with a disability or serious medical condition

This petition is calling on the government to provide a grant, so that people with a disability or serious medical condition can afford to run the equipment, or heating, they need to stay alive.

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

  • Add your signature here

Mencap - Call on the government to do more to ease the cost of living crisis

“The cost of living crisis is tough for everyone, but it can be even harder for people with a learning disability, many of whom are on low incomes, rely on disability benefits, and who need support to be able to budget and navigate complex information from energy suppliers.”

Mencap are working with UK partners including Shelter, Mind, Save The Children, Parkinsons UK and Action for Children to request that the government invest in a level of social security that is sustainable and sufficient for people to live on.

  • Sign the petition here

38 Degrees - We can't take more energy bill hikes!

38 Degrees are petitioning that the government, and energy regulator Ofgem, must intervene now to protect us from the upcoming energy bills increase. 

By stopping and reversing the catastrophic energy bill increases they can help to make sure that everyone is warm this winter.

  • Sign the petition here

Getir donates over a quarter of a million meals to charity

19 August 2022

It's been just 6 months since we partnered with Getir, the rapid grocery delivery company, to help them deliver a UK-wide food surplus distribution scheme. In that time Getir has donated over a quarter of a million meals to local charities and good causes.

"We are now getting more fresh food and snacks for our families"

As more families across the country have been reaching out to food banks and other organisations to receive a full and healthy meal, Getir has provided access to its stores so that surplus food can be donated via the Neighbourly platform, distributing more than 260,000 meals to over 280 local charities and good causes across the UK. The nourishing meals donated, that otherwise would have been sent to waste, were worth half a million pounds and saved a staggering 395 tonnes of CO2.

“The impact we are having on local communities is important to Getir,” said Kristof Van Beveren, General Manager at Getir. “We know this is an uncertain and challenging time for many families, but where we can, we always want to be a company that cares for those people who need our help.”

Meeting need in local communities

Our latest Community Insights survey revealed that 86% of food banks across the country have reported an increase in demand over the last three months, with an estimated rise of 41% more people looking for support at some food banks.

As demand increases, partnerships with businesses like Getir go a long way in providing extra support at a critical time for local services on the ground. Rehoboth Community Outreach Club, just one of the good causes benefitting from Getir’s partnership with Neighbourly, said on Twitter: “We could not do the work we are doing in local communities without the support of giving platforms like Neighbourly working in partnership with Getir and many more supermarkets to end food poverty.”

The Store Cupboard W7 have also taken to Twitter to thank Getir for their contributions, saying: “Thanks to Neighbourly and Getir we are now getting more fresh food and snacks for our families. All much appreciated.”

Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting [Getir] with their surplus food programme which is donating quality to local organisations. 250,000 meals is a great milestone and those meals will have made such a difference for many people in the community that are struggling with the cost of living crisis.”

Neighbourly wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category

21 April 2022
queen's award for enterprise

We’re proud to announce that Neighbourly has been awarded the 2022 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, established in 1965, are the most prestigious business awards in the UK - so it is a privilege to be amongst those recognised by the awards for their contribution within key categories such as  International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility.

The awards celebrate the success of exciting and innovative businesses which are leading the way with pioneering products or services, delivering impressive social mobility programmes or showing their commitment to excellent sustainable development practices.

Steve Butterworth, CEO at Neighbourly said: “It’s an absolute honour for Neighbourly to have been recognised with a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

“The last few years have been incredibly tough for local communities and businesses alike. To have been able to grow a technology solution that has helped organisations to have a positive impact at a local level during this time is testament to a changing world in which being a successful business is being one that is a force for good.”

The Innovation award recognises businesses that demonstrate strong commercially successful innovative products or services with the application covering all elements of business including sustainability, social value, technical development and profitability.

For Neighbourly this encompassed some of the company’s biggest achievements - from becoming one of the UK’s founding B Corps and partnering with M&S to launch the platform's first food surplus redistribution programme in 2015, to launching the £1.2M Community Fund in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and closing of a £3M round of Series A investment in March 2021.

Achievements aside, it’s equally if not more important for us to recognise the people and organisations that we would not have been able to do this without.

Steve adds: “Huge thanks must go not only to our corporate partners and investors, whose unwavering commitment to social and environmental impact in local communities has enabled us to build and scale an award-winning technology platform, but to our 20,000+ network of local good causes and our talented team who make critical local impact possible every day.”

Find out more about the Queen’s Awards here and follow Neighbourly on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest news and insights.

Neighbourly feature in latest Raconteur Sustainability Report

17 December 2021

Today, Raconteur has published its second Sustainable Business Report of the year, to support businesses looking to join the dots post COP26 and put their sustainability plans into action.

The report, which includes an exclusive piece from Neighbourly (page 4), offers up a wide range of key research, insights and thought-leadership driving the future of sustainable business.

This is the second time Neighbourly has featured within the report, with the March edition featuring an article on how creating localised impact fuels trust in business.

Features and themes in this latest edition cover:

  • The role of business post-COP26. A deep dive into businesses' net-zero goals, timelines and what it means to be a true trailblazer.

  • [Exclusive Neighbourly article] How global problems are solved by local action. Businesses that support local good causes are achieving meaningful progress against ESG objectives.

  • Feature interview with Rick Ridgeway. American mountaineer, adventurer and overseer of environmental affairs at Patagonia.

  • Developing new models for sustainable business travel. An exploration of businesses travel through the sustainability lens.

Neighbourly renews B Corp certification with outstanding impact score

27 October 2021
neighbourly b corp

Neighbourly is delighted to have successfully re-certified as a B Corp this month - raising its B Impact Score by 28.5 points since its last recertification in 2017.

To put this into perspective, the median total score for non B-Corp businesses is around 50.9. In order to certify as a B Corp, businesses must score at least 80 points. Neighbourly’s B Impact score now stands at 130.9 which puts the business in the ‘Outstanding’ category.

neighbourly b corp score

As a founding UK B Corp, Neighbourly has been flying the B Corp flag since 2015 - a legally binding commitment to balance profit with purpose.

For many businesses, growth and turning a profit is the key motivating factor. But profit can often come at the expense of a number of factors - including worker wellbeing, environment and climate.

A certified B Corp on the other hand, must go through a rigorous assessment process to assess its impact - recertifying every 3 years to ensure the business is meeting some of the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

What does becoming a B Corp mean?

B Corp businesses are working to build a sustainable and inclusive economy for everyone. The more businesses that commit to making real change, the bigger the movement will be.

Since 2015, the number of UK B Corps has grown into the hundreds, with 4,000 B Corps now certified globally across 77 countries - including big brands and household names like Patagonia, Danone, Ben & Jerry and Innocent. 

With the world rapidly changing and our priorities shifting in the face of climate change, poverty and workers rights, it’s becoming less acceptable to be a business that simply prioritises profit above all else. 

According to B Corp research, 77% of the UK public thinks that businesses should have a legal responsibility to the planet and people, alongside maximising profit. In addition, it found that over 66 percent of consumers reported they are willing to spend more for goods and services that have a positive impact. 

And it shows - with B Corp certified businesses growing 28 times faster than the national economic growth of 0.5 percent.

Neighbourly’s impact growth

neighbourly founding uk b corp

As part of the B Corp certification process, businesses are scored against five impact areas: governance, workers, community, environment and customers.

The scores and impact reports are publicly available on the B Corp website, offering full transparency and the space to keep improving.

Neighbourly’s latest impact scores have increased across all five areas when compared to its 2017 score, with the most notable increase seen in the ‘Environment’ and ‘Community’ category.

As well as being a certified B Corp, Neighbourly has pledged to reach Net Zero by 2030 and is a member of the B Corp Climate Collective, a group of B Corps working together to take action on the climate emergency. 

Recertifying as a B Corp cements Neighbourly’s absolute commitment to being a force for good - reinvesting profits into scaling the platform and business to support social and environmental sustainability across both businesses and local communities.

You can see the full Neighbourly B Impact Report on the B Corp UK website.

Sainsbury’s partners with Neighbourly to increase surplus food donations to local causes

8 September 2021

Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest retailers, has partnered with Neighbourly to donate food surplus to communities across the UK. The partnership will connect individual Sainsbury’s stores to charities and community groups, who will ensure that the food is put to good use in the local area, helping to tackle food waste while supporting a wide range of community initiatives.

Through Neighbourly, Sainsbury’s will have access to over 17,000 local charities and community groups including homeless centres, schools, breakfast clubs, community centres, community fridges, community cafes, night shelters, refuges, churches, and hospices. Selected charity partners will coordinate a daily collection service from their local Sainsbury’s store where both ambient and fresh grocery items with a valid best before date will be donated to them.

Following a successful trial, the scheme is now being rolled out across all Sainsbury’s supermarkets with all locations expected to be taking part by the end of the year.

Sainsbury’s has donated food to charities and community groups since 1998, with the recent priority being providing support where needed during the pandemic. With a third of all food produced for human consumption being wasted globally on an annual basis, Sainsbury’s has pledged to reduce its food waste by 50% by 2030 – and the partnership with Neighbourly is a crucial step in achieving this. 

Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, said:

“Getting surplus food to community causes is a win-win: making sure unsold food is put to the best possible use while combatting the environmental impact of wasted food. Sainsbury’s is genuinely committed to local action, and we’re pleased to be scaling up our partnership to help forge strong community collaboration between stores and their neighbourhood charity partners.”

Ruth Cranston, Group Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, said

“We’re delighted to have partnered with Neighbourly to ensure we’re supporting people in our local communities through donations of surplus food from our stores. We’re committed to reducing food waste and we’re really excited to be working with Neighbourly to help us with our mission.”


Charities and community groups who would like to work with a Sainsbury’s store to help redistribute food can get in touch via

WRAP report shows food surplus redistribution up by 45%

26 July 2021
lidl food surplus donations

Last week environmental charity WRAP launched it’s latest Courtauld Commitment Annual Report which revealed that food surplus redistribution rose by 45% in 2020, when compared with the numbers from 2019.

This represents more than 92,000 tonnes of food, worth £280 million and the equivalent of 220 million meals in one year.

This came with the news that the Courtauld Commitment will be extended and expanded with ambitious changes to support the UK’s goal of halving food waste by 2030.

Achieving global environmental goals

The Courtauld Commitment 2030 is a voluntary agreement of over 80 organisations, including the likes of Neighbourly and its food surplus partners Aldi, Lidl and M&S, to collaborate across the entire UK food chain to deliver farm-to-fork reductions in food waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water stress that will help the UK food and drink sector achieve global environmental goals.

At Neighbourly we believe that edible surplus food should never be wasted and should instead go to communities in need. With food waste one of the biggest contributors to climate change, we see businesses as playing a key role in tackling not only climate change, but delivering social value to local communities in the process.

As signatories of the Courtauld Commitment we tracked a significant rise in our own food surplus redistribution during 2020 - working with our key partners to help them redistribute over 9,000 tonnes of surplus food, equivalent to almost 23M meals, to those in need - representing a saving of over 34,000 tonnes of CO2. This was through the midst of a global pandemic where need across local communities was greater than ever before.

As momentum increases, we have seen just how great an impact food surplus redistribution can have when communities, organisations, businesses and individuals collaborate and take action for the greater good. 

Yet, as the Courtauld Agreement has shown, it’s a holistic approach that will help us achieve critical climate objectives and, at Neighbourly, we continue to take this view, engaging businesses in a range of initiatives including product surplus redistribution, employee volunteering and targeted financial donations - along with showing their impact through social value measurement - to ensure progress made against SDGs and climate issues are sustainable and scalable in the long-term.

A commitment to halving greenhouse gasses

It’s clear that the Commitment is helping the UK food and drink sector to deliver against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 to halve food waste - with food surplus redistribution a piece of a much larger puzzle. 

The Commitment will now be central in achieving and monitoring progress towards Net Zero ambitions and convening action on water stewardship in at-risk food sourcing locations.

As well as highlighting the important progress that has been made, the Courtauld Commitment’s Annual Report revealed ambitious targets for the years ahead which include :

  • A 50% absolute reduction in GHG emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030, against a 2015 baseline.
  • A 50% per capita reduction in food waste by 2030 vs the UK 2007 baseline.
  • To achieve sustainable water management (quality and quantity) in the top 20 most important product and ingredient sourcing areas in the UK and overseas – covering 50% of product ingredients deemed ‘at risk’ from water insecurity

With only four months until COP26, the UK has taken a bold step forward in reducing the impact food has on the natural world. But the next 10 years will be a critical time for those engaged inside and outside of the Courtauld Commitment and beyond to continue to collaborate and cooperate in order to achieve these goals from businesses right the way across the lifecycle of food.

To read the full report, head over to the WRAP website.

The proven power of small charities is vital to building back better

17 June 2021

Policymakers, civil society, responsible businesses and citizens alike are all eager to ensure an equitable pandemic recovery that leaves nobody behind. But we will only meet this ambition by strengthening support for small charities and local causes who are part of the fabric of our communities. Recovery and rebuilding needs to begin in communities – not be placed on them – and be driven by the knowledge of people who are living and working there.

When it comes to changing and improving lives for people facing difficult circumstances, it is those closest to the individuals involved who know best. From understanding the reality of challenging situations to actively involving people in finding solutions that work for them, small charities and local causes are best placed to use their intimate local knowledge to help ensure thriving communities. One size does not fit all, so if we really want to build back better, local action built on local knowledge must come first.

There are more than 136,000 small charities and many thousands more unregistered community causes across the UK. From food banks and those giving companionship to people facing loneliness, to the numerous organisations that help people to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations. As Small Charity Week is currently highlighting, these groups are the backbone of our communities and have shown tremendous dedication, adaptability and resilience since the start of the pandemic. Their local knowledge and ability to reach people in need is unparalleled. 

While there is rightly a mood of positivity and relief for many of us as the UK starts to emerge from the worst grips of the pandemic, the difficulties we face will be exacerbated if support for small charities and local causes stops now. Neighbourly’s recent Community Insights survey, which polled more than 1,200 small charities and good causes, showed that 78 percent of respondents saw an increase in demand for their services in recent months. Unless support for small charities and good causes is maintained, people supported by the essential organisations at the heart of our society risk falling through the cracks.

We face complex and pressing issues – from tackling societal inequalities and increasing people’s opportunities, to meeting the mental health concerns of individuals of all ages. The UK’s community infrastructure must be strengthened to ensure our communities not only survive but thrive. We’re all in this together, and we must all double down on support for small charities and local causes.

We know that resources in all forms – including money, time, services, products, ideas and people – are required for systemic change, and there is no silver bullet for the challenges ahead. Yet unlocking relevant support at the right time will only be provided by listening to local voices and acting on what they say. Help and generosity from all kinds of places has been essential. But we cannot afford for the sense of shared endeavour, and the backing for local causes, to stop now. We need policymakers, businesses and individuals alike to continue their support for small charities and local causes. 

Businesses must embed themselves deeper in their communities – continuing to help grassroots organisations to provide the support that they are best placed to give; from donating surplus food to foodbanks to encouraging staff to support good causes by volunteering their time. We need policymakers to put small charities at the heart of discussions and action around the recovery and rebuild. And we need people across the UK to consider how they can help the small charities and good causes in their neighbourhood.

We are calling for rapid recognition of communities as unique places with individual needs, and collaboration that is based on equal participation. Small charities and local causes are key to all our recovery and future. To deliver big, we must think local.